Today, The String Cheese Incident and Island Gigs announced a new International Incident, dubbed The Jamaican Incident, scheduled to go down on January 25 – 28, 2019 at the Jewel Paradise Cove Resort in Runaway Bay, Jamaica. The Colorado jammers will play three 2-set shows, and Keller Williams will play two Keller shows. Then, the two will join forces on the final evening for a special Keller Williams Incident!The All-Inclusive Incident will include four nights of music with String Cheese Incident and Keller Williams, a Jamaican vibes drum circle with percussionist Jason Hann, snorkeling with Michael Travis, golfing with Michael Kang, meet and greets, luxury accommodations, jerk chicken and gourmet dining, unlimited premium drinks at six bar locations, water sport activities, and much more.Tickets and packages go on sale on Tuesday, May 1 at 11am MDT here. Get ready for four nights of music on the beach with the stage just steps away from the beautiful Caribbean waters!
Tool‘s forthcoming album—if we can truly call it that—has been in the works for a very long time. So long, in fact, that many fans have begun to doubt it will ever come at all. At least, many of them were doubting it until a spate of exciting developments brought some fire back to the Toolverse earlier this year.Those doubting fans got another indication that Tool’s long-awaited album is on the way this weekend when the progressive metal giants headlined Wisconsin’s Northern Invasion festival. Alternative Nation reports that Sunday night’s show found frontman Maynard James Keenan imploring his bandmates—drummer Danny Carey, bassist Justin Chancellor, and guitarist Adam Jones—to finish recording their parts of the new album so he could get down to recording his vocal tracks.“I’m afraid of bananas, and other forms of fruit, because eventually you wonderful people are going to run out of fucking patience. So I beg you Danny, Adam, and Justin, please finish your parts so I can finish mine.”The on-stage declaration is the latest sign that Tool’s new album is finally on the horizon, but it isn’t the first. Last month, Tool released their first new music in over decade as part of a promo video advertising a series of music clinics hosted by Carey, Chancellor, and Jones. The instrumental segment wasn’t a complete song, but it was enough to get fans salivating. Then, on the first stop of the aforementioned music clinic tour, Carey, Chancellor, and Jones revealed that every song on the forthcoming album will be more than 10 minutes long.Of course, all of these developments took place a couple of months after Tool announced that the recording process for their next record was underway in earnest. And just in case fans had their doubts about that, members of the band confirmed it via Instagram.[H/T – Alternative Nation]
Today would have been Prince‘s 60th birthday. In celebration of the Purple One’s life and endless contributions to music, the Prince estate announced a new album of previously unreleased home recordings, dubbed Piano & A Microphone 1983–due out September 21, 2018. The nine-track LP includes cassette recordings that Prince made at his piano at his Kiowa Trail in Chanhassen, Minnesota. The extremely intimate version of Prince is previewed in today’s first track release, a cover of the 19th century spiritual, “Mary Don’t You Weep”, which will also appear during the end credits of Spike Lee‘s upcoming movie, BlacKkKlansman.Much of Piano and a Microphone 1983 will feature Prince in his most intimate form, working through future classics like “Purple Rain”, “17 Days”, “Strange Relationship” and “International Love”, as well as a cover of Joni Mitchell‘s “A Case of You.”During the final year of his life, in 2016, Prince embarked on a “Piano & A Microphone” tour, in which the Purple One performed as a one-man show. The tour was of complete legendary status, supporting Prince in his most rare form. It was during this tour that his health complications started to become public, and that fans started to worry that the mystical musician was in danger. He died on April 21, 2016 from an accidental overdose of fentanyl at the age of 57.“This raw, intimate recording, which took place at the start of Prince’s career right before he achieved international stardom, is similar in format to the Piano & A Microphone Tour that he ended his career with in 2016,” Prince Estate entertainment adviser Troy Carter said in a statement. “The Estate is excited to be able to give fans a glimpse of his evolution and show how his career ultimately came full circle with just him and his piano.”According to Billboard, the album cover features a rare image of Prince backstage during the 1999 tour, taken by Allen Beaulieu, who worked closely with Prince from 1979-1984.The Deluxe version of Piano and a Microphone 1983 is set to include a 12″ booklet with new liner notes from Prince’s engineer, Don Batts, as well as never-before-seen candid photos of the Purple One. Fans who pre-order the digital download will get an instant download of “Mary Don’t You Weep,” which you can listen to below:<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>Piano & A Microphone 1983 Tracklisting:“17 Days”“Purple Rain”“A Case Of You”“Mary Don’t You Weep”“Strange Relationship”“International Lover”“Wednesday”“Cold Coffee & Cocaine”“Why The Butterflies”
Instrumental Phish tribute outfit, Jazz Is PHSH, led by The Chase Brothers—also known as Matt Chase and Adam Chase—recruits the best of the best for their all-instrumental take on the beloved Vermont jam band. Not only does Jazz Is PHSH incorporate unique compositional elements into Phish’s music, but they also have gotten to share their work with members of Phish and their longtime cohorts.Last December, the Chase Brothers recruited Cory Baker (bass), Carl “Gearz” Gerhard (trumpet), Maison Guidry (drums), Jay Rodriquez (tenor sax), and Josh Thomas (keys) for a special incarnation of Jazz Is PHSH at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, PA. Opening with “Tweezer Reprise”, the band worked through Phish heavy-hitters “Carini”, “Ghost”, and “Maze” throughout the first set, before laying down a funky “Cars Trucks Buses” to bring the fiery first set to a close.After opening the second set with a massive “Tweezer” > “Drums”, Jazz Is PHSH had a special treat in store for the intimate crowd at World Cafe Live. Following “46 Days”, Jazz Is PHSH invited longtime Phish songwriter/lyricist Tom Marshall up to assist with vocals on “Meat”, which was written by Anastasio, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon, Page McConnell, and Marshall.Today, Live for Live Music is excited to premiere a video of Jazz Is PHSH’s “Meat” featuring Tom Marshall on vocals, which was shot by Philly Philms for We’ve Got It Simple. The funky tune off The Story of the Ghost got the special treatment on December 7th, 2017, with double drums and a tenacious horn section, taking their time with the natural pauses in “Meat”, before crashing back into their jazzy take on the Phish favorite.As Adam Chase explained to Live for Live Music in a statement,Having Tom join us for Meat was actually a spur of the moment idea that came essentially the day of the show. We had met Tom when he came to See Jazz is Phsh is Asbury Park a couple years ago and then when we did the Under The Scales Interview together we really hit it off and have become friends since. When he let me know he was coming to the World Cafe show I jokingly suggested having him up for Meat. It was a joke since we are an instrumental band but after laughing about pulling a “random fan” out of the audience and having them actually sing the lyrics to Meat as we backed the singer- we thought it was too good an idea to pass up.Watch video of Jazz Is PHSH’s “Meat” featuring Tom Marshall on vocals, below. For more information on Jazz Is PHSH and their upcoming tour dates, head to their website.Jazz Is PHSH featuring Tom Marshall–”Meat”Setlist: Jazz Is PHSH | World Cafe Live | Philadelphia, PA | 12/7/2017Set One: Tweezer Reprise, Carini, Brother, Ghost, Maze, Lawn Boy, Cars Trucks BusesSet Two: Tweezer > Drums, NICU, 46 Days, *Meat, Bathtub Gin, Stash, MagillaEncore: Camel Walk* with Tom Marshall
By the looks of all the guitars hanging up on the wall, it appears that Perry’s latest signature model could get a wide release for fans to purchase and play with their own version of the axe.Aerosmith will be honored with the unveiling of their own star on the “Hollywood Walk of Fame” on Thursday. The celebratory event will keep the momentum going for the classic rock band, as they also announced this week that their “Deuces Are Wild” residency in Las Vegas has been extended to early December. Fans can head over to the tour page on their website for more ticket info. Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry has kept himself busy since returning to the public eye following emergency hospitalization last November. Perry was with his Aerosmith bandmates in Atlanta earlier this month to perform at a pre-Super Bowl concert, followed by another performance in Los Angeles on Sunday for Steven Tyler‘s Grammy-watching party/foundation fundraiser. While in Los Angeles, Perry recently stopped by one of Gibson Guitar‘s west coast showrooms, where he recorded a brief video to give fans the first look at his forthcoming signature line of Les Paul guitars.Anyone who has followed Perry’s career over the years knows that he’s a huge fan of Gibson’s Les Paul model, and has even helped design a few of his own signature guitars for the brand in the past. The latest design is that of a simple bronze-burst finish, with only two control knobs on the body of the guitar compared to the typical four. The guitar also only has one pickup with no visible switch for players to toggle between “treble” and “rhythm” modes when plugged in. According to the statement made by Perry along with a video shared to his Twitter early Wednesday, the latest design took nearly three years of work before coming to a final product. Fans can check out the guitarist’s latest Les Paul model in the video below.
In this relevant release, Menand, an English professor, argues that most universities are out of touch and calls for their dire makeover. Menand touches on everything from problem solving to curriculum, to faculty and diversity, and more.
The campaign’s over. Time to govern.The differences between the black-and-white rigors of an election campaign and the nuanced work of being an effective lawmaker were brought home to two dozen incoming congressmen this week, in the biennial Bipartisan Program for Newly Elected Members of Congress, held at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.Sixteen Republicans and eight Democrats spent four days at Harvard, getting to know future colleagues and listening to authorities on a variety of key topics on which they’ll soon be drafting legislation, debating, and voting.Todd Young, a Republican who will represent Indiana’s 9th Congressional District, said he often attends conferences with the expectation that networking will be valuable but that little new will come from presentations. This time, he was pleasantly surprised not just at the quality of the discussions — often given by leaders in the fields — but also at the balance of perspectives, with conservative, moderate, and progressive viewpoints all in play.“I’ve been very impressed by the quality of our panelists,” Young said. “I’ve also been impressed by the diversity of opinions.”The conference, which began Tuesday (Nov. 30) and ran through Friday, was the 19th such session organized by Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP). Christian Flynn, one of the event’s organizers, said bipartisanship is a key element of the session, which provides a venue for cross-aisle relationships and communications that can be scarce in Washington, D.C.“This is the only place it happens,” Flynn said. “They don’t get that in Washington.”Flynn said the conference is intended to give incoming lawmakers some background on key subjects — the economy, education, and foreign policy among them — that they’ll be dealing with in the years ahead. The speakers included Eliot University Professor Lawrence Summers, the former Obama and Clinton administration economic adviser and Harvard president, who spoke about the fiscal issues, trade, and North Korea, and who also offered pointers on how to get along in Washington. Continuing on that theme were three former White House chiefs of staff, who discussed how to work with the White House; former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who discussed foreign policy; and an array of education experts, including former Bush Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, who talked about academic reform.The education reform discussion, which was the only session open to the media, featured a frank, lively airing of the problems facing elementary and secondary schools. The panel, led by Harvard Graduate School of Education Dean Kathleen McCartney, featured Spellings, who is an IOP fellow this fall, former Washington, D.C., schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, who aggressively moved to install reforms, and New York University Professor Pedro Noguera.Much of the discussion centered on the national No Child Left Behind Act, passed in 2001. Despite the high-profile legislation’s emphasis on testing and improving underperforming schools, Rhee said that American education remains in crisis. U.S. students, she said, finish near the bottom of a list of 30 industrialized nations in academic achievement. Rhee identified the obstacles to getting rid of bad teachers as a key impediment to improving education.None of the speakers disagreed with Rhee’s harsh assessment, but Spellings cautioned against reopening debate on No Child Left Behind, saying it would put a wide array of topics on the table, not all of which would be helpful. Several panelists said that success stories are out there that could be used as examples on how to improve struggling schools.Billy Long, a Republican from Missouri’s 7th District, described the complexity of the problems highlighted in the sessions as “daunting.” He added that he wished more incoming legislators from his own party had attended. He said he has offered his services two years from now to spread the word among Republicans on the conference’s value.Harvard President Drew Faust also addressed the group, reaching back into the nation’s contentious early days for lessons from President Thomas Jefferson. At the time of Jefferson’s inauguration, his Democratic-Republican Party was at odds with Alexander Hamilton’s Federalists, but Jefferson made a point in his inaugural address to stress the importance of working together. Faust quoted Jefferson: “We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.”Faust said she hoped the legislators’ time at Harvard proves helpful as the new members seek common ground in addressing the major challenges the nation faces. Faust emphasized the role of higher education and university-based research in providing answers to many of the problems facing the world today, whether fighting illness, devising technological solutions for more efficient power, or providing expertise in dealing with other nations.“I am hard-pressed to think about a single challenge we face which scientific research and other university-based expertise can’t help address,” Faust said, “and I hope you will call on us, not only in these times of such extraordinary challenge and change, but throughout your career in public office.”Faust struck an optimistic note about the work of the incoming Congress, saying the new members’ presence at Harvard indicates their eagerness to learn, their openness to new ideas, and their willingness to listen to others.“Your presence here makes me optimistic about what the 112th Congress can accomplish, and I am grateful for your service,” Faust said.
Inspired by a spherical toy that expands and collapses, researchers at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a new type of engineered capsule, called a “buckliball,” that exploits the phenomenon of buckling.The same types of mechanisms that allow a Venus flytrap to snap its jaws, or a dry, windswept grain of pollen to swell when it reaches moisture, now lend themselves to an inventive study of geometric expansion and contraction.The research was led by Katia Bertoldi, assistant professor in applied mechanics at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and Pedro Reis, Edgerton Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT. The findings appear this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.“The buckliball not only opens avenues for the design of foldable structures over a wide range of length scales, but may also be used as a building block for creating new materials with unusual properties, capable of dramatic contraction in all directions,” says Bertoldi.Motivated by the desire to determine the simplest 3-D structure that could take advantage of mechanical instability to collapse reversibly, the engineers were stymied — until one of them happened across a collapsible, spherical toy that resembled the structures they’d been exploring.Playing with an expanding and collapsing toy (top row), researchers at Harvard and MIT were inspired to design a new type of folding structure. The result is a one-piece silicone sphere, dubbed a “buckliball” for its pressure-induced buckling behavior (bottom row). Photos courtesy of Katia BertoldiThe toy was complex, with no fewer than 26 solid moving elements and 48 rotating hinges, but it inspired something simpler.The result is the buckliball, a hollow silicone sphere. It has no moving parts, but is fashioned with 24 carefully spaced dimples. When the air is sucked out of a buckliball with a syringe, the thin ligaments between dimples collapse.When these ligaments buckle, the thicker ligaments forming rows between dimples undergo a series of movements the researchers refer to as a “cooperative buckling cascade.” Some of the thick ligaments rotate clockwise, others counterclockwise — but all move simultaneously and harmoniously, turning the original circular dimples into vertical and horizontal ellipses in alternating patterns before closing them entirely.As a result, the buckliball morphs into a rhombicuboctahedron about half the size (46 percent) of the original sphere.The researchers named their new structure for its use of buckling and its resemblance to buckyballs, spherical all-carbon molecules whose name was inspired by the geodesic domes created by architect-inventor Buckminster Fuller.The buckliball, according to the researchers, is the first morphable structure to incorporate buckling as a desirable engineering design element.“In civil engineering, buckling is commonly associated with failure that must be avoided,” explains Reis. “For example, one typically wants to calculate the buckling criterion for columns and apply an additional safety factor, to ensure that a building stands.”“We are trying to change this paradigm by turning failure into functionality in soft mechanical structures,” he adds. “For us, the buckliball is the first such object, but there will be many others.”Because their collapse is fully reversible and can be achieved without moving parts, morphable structures such as the buckliball have the potential for widespread applications, from the micro- to macroscale. They could be used to create large buildings with collapsible roofs or walls, tiny drug-delivery capsules, or soft movable joints requiring no mechanical pieces. For instance, a robotic arm could be built from a single piece of material using a precisely engineered pattern of dimples at the intended hinging points that, when activated by a pressure signal, would bend.(They also have the potential to transform Transformers and other kinds of toys. The toy that provided the researchers’ epiphany is the Hoberman Twist-O.)Bertoldi’s research group at Harvard uses tools from continuum and computational mechanics to unravel the mechanics of soft structures. Reis’ research at MIT uses precision tabletop-scale lab tests and mathematical analysis to determine the basic physics underlying the mechanical behavior of materials. The two teams collaborated on the buckliball: Reis’ team performed the lab experiments with the help of digital fabrication techniques (such as 3-D printing) to create objects with precise geometry, and Bertoldi’s group used computation to further analyze the detailed mechanics of the process.Elizabeth Chen, a recent graduate of the University of Michigan who was visiting Harvard at the time, determined that only five spherical geometric structures have the potential for reversible buckling-induced collapse. (The specific example of Fuller’s 12-hole rhombicuboctahedron that collapses into a cuboctahedron is one of these five.) Design parameters for buckliballs include dimple size, the thickness of the thin shell inside the dimple, and the stiffness of the material used to fabricate the buckliball.Nature, it appears, has already figured this out. Viruses inject their nucleic acids into a host through a reversible structural transformation in which 60 holes open or close based on changes in the acidity of the cell’s environment, a different mechanism that achieves a similar reversible collapse at the nanoscale.The buckling process used in the buckliball induces folding in portions of the sphere, similar to the way paper folds in origami, so the researchers place their work in a larger framework of buckling-induced origami they call “buckligami.”Bertoldi and Reis’ co-authors included Chen, who will join Harvard as a postdoc in the fall; Jongmin Shim, a postdoc at Harvard; and Claude Perdigo of MIT.The work was partially funded through a National Science Foundation grant to the Harvard Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, and by funds from the Kavli Institute for Bionano Science and Technology at Harvard, SEAS, and MIT.
Harvard Provost Alan Garber loves running — so much so that when he returned to his alma mater last year, he listed among the job’s perks a chance to resume his exercise route along the Charles River.“I love seeing Dunster House as I’m approaching the end of my run,” said Garber, who’ll soon be pounding the pavement with nearly 30,000 others in the Boston Marathon on April 16.But until recently, Garber described himself as “recidivist runner.” The cause wasn’t a lack of enthusiasm or even of precious time, but an all-too-common phenomenon for regular runners: repeat injury. “I was at the point where injuries were making it questionable whether I’d be able to continue to run,” he said.Most people know about runner’s high. But for most runners, injury is as much a part of the experience as euphoria. Studies vary widely, but it is estimated that between 30 and 80 percent of regular runners are injured in a given year. Shin splints, runner’s knee, iliotibial band syndrome, plantar fasciitis: For many years, everyone from coaches to biologists to casual joggers has accepted such injuries almost as a necessary evil.But a growing number of researchers, many of them at Harvard, are convinced it doesn’t have to be that way. What’s more, they say, we often don’t need equipment to solve our many aches and pains. The human body, they argue, is built to run. Thanks to a growing body of scientific research, they’re figuring out exactly how humans were meant to move.These medical clinicians, biologists, and anthropologists are part of a cohort at Harvard, including several University-affiliated research centers, that may be unique in combining breadth and depth of research on the subject at a single university.“There’s an amazing group of people at Harvard working on helping people run better,” said Daniel Lieberman, professor and chair of human evolutionary biology and principal investigator in the department’s Skeletal Bio Lab.Running is in our bonesLieberman is at least partly responsible for that. As an advocate of barefoot running and co-author of several groundbreaking papers in the journal Nature, he has kept running in the scientific spotlight for the past several years. The first paper, written in 2004 with longtime collaborator Dennis Bramble at the University of Utah, marshaled the fossil record’s evidence for why we run.The paper was only the second published study on the subject. The first came out in 1984. Running had simply been overlooked by most evolutionary biologists, who instead focused on why we developed the biomechanical tools for walking, our primary means of locomotion.“We think of walking as the quintessential human gait, and it is,” Lieberman said. But as he and Bramble pointed out, “the human body is also loaded with features that make us really exceptional runners. Our gifts and our ability to run are not just a byproduct of walking, but its own special skill that we have.”For instance, humans have a number of adaptations that help stabilize the head during running. As an example, Lieberman points out the nuchal ligament, a rubber band-like structure that emerges from a tiny raised ridge on the back of the human skull, that isn’t present in our closest relatives, chimpanzees and gorillas.A series of “springs” in our legs and feet, including our long Achilles tendons and the plantar arch along the underside of the foot, helps us to store and release energy efficiently when running. Our gluteus maximus muscle — more commonly known for giving the round shape to our rear ends — is distinctively enlarged in humans, helping to stabilize our trunks when running and keeping us from pitching forward.Lieberman and Bramble hypothesized that many of these traits evolved 2 million years ago, when running would have been advantageous to early hunters who lacked sophisticated tools. An aptitude for endurance running would have allowed hunters to chase down and weaken their prey, driving them into hyperthermia. Humans would be less likely to overheat during long runs thanks to their larger number of sweat glands and relative lack of body hair.The article touched a nerve. Lieberman received hundreds of emails, and the study was mentioned in nearly 1,000 news reports.“I think people want to understand why they like running and why even average humans are so good at it, and why some people are so unbelievably good at it,” Lieberman said. “There’s a reason people love a marathon: They actually enjoy it. It’s not a nasty chore. It’s a celebration of the human body.”Barefoot, and back to basicsAs more researchers embrace the idea of running as a natural human activity, there’s been a shift away from developing bigger and better orthotics toward instilling better biomechanics. In other words, to figure out how to prevent running injuries, researchers and clinicians are taking the focus off of shoes, braces, and other man-made solutions and seeking answers in the body itself.“It doesn’t make sense that up to 79 percent of runners get injured in a given year, if we’re doing something we’re designed to do,” said Irene Davis, director of the Harvard-affiliated Spaulding National Running Center (SNRC).“We’ve gotten into a mindset that once a person needs a set of orthotics, they need them forever,” said Davis, a physical therapist with a longtime research interest in running. “But when you take the foot — which is an amazing structure — and put that into a shoe with arch support, cushioning, etc., the foot becomes lazy and likely more prone to injury.”Davis, a visiting professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School (HMS), came to Harvard a little over a year ago from the University of Delaware to start the SNRC, which will hold its grand opening for the public on April 12. The center combines a running injury clinic with a research laboratory, where Davis hopes to develop even better interventions to prevent musculoskeletal injuries in runners.“I wanted to take my research to the next level,” she said. She also rivals if not outpaces Lieberman in her enthusiasm for barefoot running. (Lieberman, whose 2010 Nature cover article on barefoot running received a flood of attention, calls Davis’ hiring a coup for Harvard. And both have worked closely with journalist Christopher McDougall ’85, whose best-selling 2009 book “Born to Run” introduced barefoot running to a popular audience.)“We came into the world barefoot,” Davis said. And until the 1970s, she said, running shoes were much more minimal than we’re used to today. “They had a surface that protected the bottom of your foot and something that kept it on,” she said. “It’s my contention that that’s what shoes were originally designed for — not to take away the function of your foot.”Landing on our heelsThe problem with shoes is they allow runners to strike the ground with their heels, rather than their mid- or forefoot.“When you put a foot into a cushioned shoe, you land harder, and more on your heel,” Davis said. “When you take your shoes off, you run differently.” Three out of four shod runners land on their heels, according to Davis, while nearly every barefoot runner lands on the balls of his feet.“When you heel strike, what happens, from a biochemical standpoint, is that you get this big, quick rise-to-peak in the force that your body experiences,” she continued. Multiplied over the thousands of strides runners make, that repeated trauma can lead to a host of injuries.Lieberman’s Skeletal Bio Lab spent four years studying the Harvard track team for insights into how a runner’s strike correlates with injury rates and published results online last month in Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise. (The paper’s first author, Adam I. Daoud ’09, was a research assistant in the lab and a member of the track team.) All of the runners in the study were shod, but 31 percent were natural forefoot strikers.“We showed that members of the track team who habitually run with a forefoot strike have less than half the injury rate of the ones who rear-foot strike,” Lieberman said.Still, Lieberman is quick to point out that there’s no one catchall solution, and adds that people who rear-foot strike shouldn’t necessarily switch their gait, especially if they are uninjured. Nor should a runner ever attempt to switch his gait overnight. Lieberman emphasized that there were plenty of forefoot strikers in the study who still suffered injuries, and there were some rear-foot strikers who did not.“There are no simple answers, none,” Lieberman said.But there have been anecdotal success stories. Garber was one runner who benefited from a change in form rather than in shoe. When he returned to Harvard, he met Lieberman, and the two became running buddies. Lieberman pointed out that Garber was overstriding and leaning too far forward as he ran.“I was also sure that I was landing on my mid-foot or forefoot, and he was convinced I was landing on my heel,” Garber said. “Then he filmed me running and proved it.”Since Garber has started practicing drills to improve his form, he’s been able to run with less pain — a trend he hopes will last through the upcoming marathon battle with Heartbreak Hill.Davis believes that many runners with problems can be retrained. At the SNRC’s clinic, she and her associates put them on treadmills in front of mirrors, allowing them to watch themselves move. When runners can see, for example, how their knees cave inward as they stride — “the egg-beater gait,” in Davis’ words — they can compensate more easily. Davis then gradually removes that visual reinforcement by putting a curtain in front of the mirror. “Eventually, they’re doing it without any feedback at all,” she said. Her team has followed up with former subjects for up to 12 months, showing that they continued their improved gait.Giving real-time feedbackResearchers are able to study runners’ gaits with high-tech, 3-D imaging on “the world’s fanciest treadmill,” as Lieberman calls it, which sits atop a force plate that can measure and record the forces acting on a runner’s joints from all directions.But that technology does little to help the average marathoner looking to correct her form. Area runners can turn to Pierre D’Hemecourt, an HMS lecturer on orthopedic surgery and director of primary care sports medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston. D’Hemecourt oversees the Running Program at Children’s, a multidisciplinary clinic modeled on the University of California at San Francisco’s RunSafe approach.The program, started two years ago, helps runners who want to improve their performance or prevent injuries. Patients meet with a four-person team that includes a physician, athletic trainer, dietitian, and podiatrist for an assessment. In addition, their running style is videotaped and played back to them. It’s a 360-degree approach that few other cities can match, said D’Hemecourt, who’s also co-medical director of the Boston Marathon.D’Hemecourt pinpoints four major components of a runner’s gait that could lead to injury. First, there’s the heel strike. Then there’s overstriding, or extending your foot beyond your hip. Women in the military, for example, reported a high rate of femoral neck stress fractures. As it turned out, they were lengthening their natural stride to keep up with men in daily marches.Third is a slow cadence, an inefficient running pattern. A faster cadence minimizes the likelihood of overstriding, since the quicker steps push for a shorter stride. (D’Hemecourt recommends 170-180 steps per minute.) Fourth, many runners lean forward. “You should be landing with your hips, knees, and ankles bent a little bit so that you land under your center of gravity,” he said.Overall, the goal is to go easy on our bodies when we run, D’Hemecourt said. He recommends using a treadmill to “get a feel for that nice soft landing. If you can hear yourself landing heavily, then you’re doing it wrong.”A community of runnersResearchers aren’t the only running enthusiasts who’ve found a home at Harvard. In the past several years, the University’s community of noncompetitive runners has grown by leaps and bounds.Running is the perfect activity to bring faculty, students, and staff together, said Craig Rodgers, a counselor at the Bureau of Study Counsel, who started the Harvard College Marathon Challenge (HCMC) in 2005. More than 470 people from around the University have joined the group’s email listserv. Members use it to post information about races and events, to share tips, and to find last-minute running buddies.“You don’t need anything other than a pair of shoes, or not even a pair of shoes, if you want to go barefoot with us,” Rodgers said. “It’s something people can do easily on short notice. That fits very well with the Harvard culture and lifestyle, when our schedules allow it.”Harvard On The Move, a year-old University-wide initiative to promote physical activity, can attract as many as 40 or 50 people to its biweekly runs. (The Longwood Medical campus hosts its own twice-weekly jogs; neither group requires an RSVP.) More than 200 members of the Harvard community participated in the Cambridge City Walk/Run on April 1, raising more than $3,000 for the Friends of Cambridge Athletics, the Andrea Harvey Memorial Fund, and Cambridge Special Olympics. Ryan Neely, a research assistant at the Center for Brain Science at Harvard, was the winner with a time of 26:53:2, which translates to a 5:23 mile pace.And of course, many Harvardians will be running in the upcoming marathon. The five members of this year’s HCMC marathon team, who are running to benefit the Phillips Brooks House Association, have raised more than $18,000 of their $25,600 goal.“I don’t think it’s coincidental that marathons are charity events,” Lieberman said. “It’s deeply ingrained, I suspect, in the human experience.”A million years ago, he said, if we went running, we’d likely be hunting. When our ancestors got back to camp, they’d be greeted by their community, and would present and distribute their spoils. Perhaps not much has changed since then, Lieberman said.“Running is about sharing,” he said. “It’s a community event, and it always has been.”
Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) today announced the launch of edX, a transformational partnership in online education. Through edX, the two institutions will collaborate to enhance campus-based teaching and learning and build a global community of online learners.EdX will build on both universities’ experience in offering online instructional content. The technological platform recently established by MITx, which will serve as the foundation for the new learning system, was designed to offer online versions of MIT courses featuring video lesson segments, embedded quizzes, immediate feedback, student-ranked questions and answers, online laboratories, and student paced learning. Certificates of mastery will be available for those motivated and able to demonstrate their knowledge of the course material.MIT and Harvard expect that over time other universities will join them in offering courses on the edX platform. The gathering together of many universities’ educational content on one site will enable learners worldwide to access the course content of any participating university from a single website, and to use a set of online educational tools shared by all participating universities.EdX will release its learning platform as open-source software so it can be used by other universities and organizations that wish to host the platform themselves. Because the learning technology will be available as open-source software, other universities and individuals will be able to help edX improve and add features to the technology.MIT and Harvard will use the jointly operated edX platform to research how students learn and how technologies can support effective teaching both on-campus and online. The edX platform will allow study of which teaching methods and tools are most successful. The findings of this research will be used to inform how faculty use technology in their teaching, which will enhance the experience for students on campus and for the millions of people expected to take advantage of these new online offerings.“EdX represents a unique opportunity to improve education on our own campuses through online learning, while simultaneously creating a bold new educational path for millions of learners worldwide,” MIT President Susan Hockfield said.Harvard President Drew Faust said, “EdX gives Harvard and MIT an unprecedented opportunity to dramatically extend our collective reach by conducting groundbreaking research into effective education and by extending online access to quality higher education.”“Harvard and MIT will use these new technologies and the research they will make possible to lead the direction of online learning in a way that benefits our students, our peers, and people across the nation and the globe,” Faust continued.Jointly owned not-for-profit structureThe initiative will be overseen by a not-for-profit organization based in Cambridge, Mass., to be owned and governed equally by the two universities. MIT and Harvard have committed to a combined $60 million ($30 million each) in institutional support, grants, and philanthropy to launch the collaboration.MIT’s Anant Agarwal, director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, who has headed development of the MITx platform under the leadership of MIT Provost L. Rafael Reif, will serve as the first president of edX.At Harvard, Provost Alan Garber will direct the Harvardx effort, and Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael D. Smith will play a leading role in working with faculty to develop and deliver courses.It is anticipated that near-term course offerings from a range of Harvard and MIT schools will be included on the edX platform.Research to enhance residential modelEdX will enhance the traditional residential model of undergraduate education on both campuses by supporting an unlimited number of experimental online approaches to teaching that can be used by Harvard and MIT faculty and that will benefit students in Cambridge and Boston. It also will have the benefit of providing global access to some of the world-class instruction that already occurs in Cambridge and Boston, but which is only one aspect of the full Harvard and MIT experience.“The campus environment offers opportunities and experiences that cannot be replicated online,” said Hockfield. “EdX is designed to improve, not replace, the campus experience.”EdX will be separate from ongoing distance-learning initiatives at both institutions, including MIT OpenCourseWare and courses offered by Schools at Harvard, such as the Harvard Extension School, the Harvard Business School, and the Harvard Medical School.First courses by this fall The universities will work to develop further the online learning platform already begun with MITx and to populate the edX website with courses from the MIT and Harvard faculty. During the early stages of the effort, the two universities will cooperate to offer as broad an initial set of courses as possible. A first set of courses is scheduled to be announced in early summer and to start in the fall.“We are already moving forward quickly,” said Agarwal. “There’s a lot of energy in the air, and the teams at Harvard and MIT can’t wait to collaborate.”[ustream id=22290027 hwaccel=0 width=480 height=296]Video streaming by Ustream